Open letter from the Civil Society and youth of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) / Arab World to the “Abu Dhabi Ascent” participants

We, the youth and civil society of the area comprised of the MENA region and the Arab World welcome you all to our region, and commend you on your efforts to fight climate change, which is an ever-growing concern for current and future generations. We also commend the government of the UAE for organizing this preparatory event.

We would also like to take this opportunity to call on all parties involved in the Abu Dhabi Ascent to take new direct and ambitious actions to ensure the success of the Climate Summit, taking place this September in New York, with the aim of reaching zero net greenhouse gas emissions, and achieving 100% renewable energy by mid of the century.

It has become impossible to deny the effects of climate change on the MENA / Arab World Region. In fact, the reality of climate change has become apparent and has factored into our everyday lives, with dire consequences and effects to our livelihoods. We live in one of the most arid regions in the world, and are surrounded by some of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet. The Arab world faces many environmental challenges such as water scarcity, low and variable rainfalls and great exposure to drought and desertification.

All that in addition to high poverty rate in the region makes the Arab world among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.

Climate change will only make these conditions worse on us, and the whole world population. If no effective adaptation and mitigation measures are set, the region will face huge reduction in agricultural productivity and water supply, more frequent drought and heat waves events, and loss of low-lying coastal areas due to SLR. Thus, climate change will have significant implications on the economic and social development of Arab countries.

We specifically call on the countries of our region to show leadership in the Summit, and use this opportunity to present new and ambitious pledges and contributions to mitigate climate change. As one of the richest regions in renewable energy sources developing a renewable energy master plan on the national level can help the arab world to phase out from fossil fuels, the MENA / Arab World Region is well equipped to be at the forefront of achieving carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy future.

Sincerely,

The Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM)

Greenpeace Arab World

The League of Independent Activists (IndyAct)

 

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